Like most things in business, lead qualification frameworks have evolved over time and more methods are available now than ever. So, it can be hard to know which framework, and qualification process, is right for your organization.
The MEDDIC lead qualification framework is one of the more modern methods. It was designed primarily for a sales leader B2B sales use and developed to help you time and target your sales pitches for the most effective results.
In this article, we’ll go over what exactly the MEDDIC framework is (something you can sharing in sales training) and how to use it step by step as a MEDDIC sales checklist:
By the end, you should have an idea on whether this is the framework for you and each sales rep (and if it’s not, don’t worry—there are other options).
What's the MEDDIC sales process?
MEDDIC is a ‘90s baby and the brainchild of Parametric Technology Corp. (PTC), a software company renowned in the SaaS industry for its sales culture. Using MEDDIC, PTC experienced over 40 quarters of constant growth.
This qualification framework has a strong emphasis on the customer, with the goal being to ensure a profitable return on your sales efforts. PTC’s logic was, if you pitch to a more qualified prospect, you’ll have a much higher success/closing rate. (Sounds about right.)
MEDDIC works best for companies with longer sales cycles, making it a good choice for companies that sell high-ticket items (like machinery) or products that will require the buyer to change the way they currently do things (like new software).
Here are what each of the letters in “MEDDIC” stand for and what they mean for MEDDIC sales qualification:
M = Metric
What to do: Quantify the total economic benefit and impact of the solution you’re providing.
Before you can sell something to a prospect using MEDDIC sales qualification, you need to understand what they expect to gain if they buy it. This should be something quantifiable like…
- return on investment (ROI)
- being able to push out an additional X amount of product a month
- saving X many hours in a work week as a result of your solution
Getting these metrics together for a MEDDIC sales checklist will help you sell your product or service from an angle that appeals to your unique prospect. You can list all the features and benefits you want, but nothing’s going to drive your point across and justify buying your solution like numbers will.
Seal the deal.
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E = Economic buyer
What to do: Find and talk to the decision-maker.
The “economic buyer” is the decision-maker for your product or service at the company you’re trying to sell it to. In other words, they’re the person with the purchasing power. Your goal is to deliver your sales pitch directly to this person, because if you can convince them, the sale’s in the bag.
A bit of detective work on a company’s website and LinkedIn will help you find out who the decision-maker is. Once you’ve found them, reach out.
Sometimes, it can be a bit harder to find out who makes the call. For example, role titles might be ambiguous or you might find multiple people with similar-sounding titles (this is especially common in larger organizations). If this is the case, don’t disqualify them just yet.
Instead, shoot your shot with one of the people who sound like they could be the decision-maker. Strike a conversation with them (maybe a LinkedIn message or email) and if they seem interested, offer to set up a call and include the following in your request:
“Will anyone else be involved in the purchase process? I’ll add them to our meeting as well.”
This way, even if they’re not the decision-maker (or they’re one of a few), they’ll connect you with the right person, which benefits a MEDDIC checklist. Smooth.
D = Decision criteria
What to do: Understand the prospect’s decision-making and purchasing process.
Very rarely in business are you the only option a prospect is considering—there are always going to be competitors offering similar or alternative solutions. MEDDIC recognizes this and emphasizes the need to set your company and product apart from the rest.
To do this, you’ll first have to get an in-depth understanding of what criteria must be met for an organization to decide to buy (or not buy) your product.
These criteria can be divided into two main categories:
1. Technical decision criteria
This criterion is based on whether your solution fits into the prospective organization’s existing infrastructure.
For example, if you’re a SaaS company: does your software integrate with the prospect’s existing tech stack?
If the answer is no, and you know it doesn’t make sense for them to do an entire tech overhaul just to use your product, it’s safe to disqualify this company as a potential customer.
2. Business decision criteria
This criterion depends on factors like whether there’s a predetermined budget for your solution and what the desired ROI is.
For example, some companies might already be on the hunt for a solution like yours, so they’ve already allocated a set budget for it. Then there are companies that haven’t put aside money for it but have the flexibility to bend their budget if you can prove your product’s worth it.
Knowing your prospect's unique position will help you create and deliver a sales pitch that aligns with their expectations.
D = Decision process
What to do: Figure out what the prospect’s process is in making the final purchase decision.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the prospect’s decision-making criteria, you need to understand their process in reaching a decision.
This equips you to pre-plan the prospect’s journey up to that point, so you can accurately keep track of how far along they are on the way to closing the deal.
Here are some questions to ask that’ll help you figure it out for a MEDDIC checklist:
- If all decision criteria (the first “D” in MEDDIC) have been met, does anyone else need to approve the purchase decision?
- If yes, who? Is it a single person or an entire board? How long does it usually take them to decide?
- Hint: Have you sent them enough information about the product so that all decision-makers—even the ones you haven’t spoken with directly—are able to look at it and get a full-picture of what they’re buying?
I = Identify pain
What to do: Identify how your product can solve a problem the prospect is facing.
An effective sales pitch is one that identifies and offers a solution to the prospective business’s specific problem(s).
Some examples of common business problems are:
- High costs
- Low revenue
- Slow production
By developing and presenting a clear and thorough cost-benefit analysis to your prospect, you can show them exactly what benefits they stand to gain from your solution. You’ll also be able to identify the risks and challenges that their company faces without your product.
The key here is specificity.
For example, if a prospect’s biggest problem is that they’re losing money, tell them exactly how much they’re losing a year without your product versus how much they could be saving with it.
C = Champion
What to do: Connect with an influential employee at the company you want to sell your product to.
If your solution is truly a good fit for a company, there will always be at least one person there that sees it and is convinced your product will benefit their organization.
That person is the “champion” in your MEDDIC framework.
This champion will probably be the person most affected by the problems you identified earlier. They may also be someone who stands to benefit the most from what you’re offering.
Your champion will need to have some degree of influence within the organization but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be in a managerial or executive position.
Once you’ve found your champ, you can start working with them to get the rest of the company on board.
Think of them as your wingman, helping you score the prospect by “selling” your solution on your behalf.
For example, your champion could be a senior sales rep at prospective company that has a fair amount of persuasive power with the exec team. This rep recognizes exactly what your product can do for the company (and for their own team) and will therefore be motivated to help you sell it to them.
This person can tell you the lay of the land in terms of who you should be approaching, tips on how to approach them, specific details you wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain (like how big of a customer base they have or the current length of their sales cycle) that you can use to fine-tune a sales pitch. The champion can then take that pitch to the decision-makers and land you a meeting with them. Best wingman ever.
Does the MEDDIC sales process sound like it’s for you?
The MEDDIC lead qualification framework is arguably one of the most effective sales processes out there, and a sales leader can teach it during sales training.
It acts as a checklist, and qualification process, that ensures you have all the information you need to make a thorough and convincing sales pitch.